MSI is perhaps best known in the UK for its motherboards, but it also makes PCs, laptops, graphics cards and several interesting PC TV tuners. Its latest model, the TVanywhere A/D, supports FM radio, analogue and digital television, and is HD-TV 1080i ready. We took a closer look at how it behaves in real life.
The card itself is small, even by half-height PCI standards, and slotted into our test PC without difficulty. Windows detected the tuner when it loaded and then installed the latest drivers from the CD.
We had to install the TV viewing software (LifeView DTV) ourselves, though, and the program didn't automatically launch its setup screen, either. Clicking the Tools menu revealed a Scan option and we soon had the TVanywhere A/D card checking for local channels.
TV tuner software is prone to having stupid interfaces and DTV is no different. Most of the options are in a long row of text buttons down the left-hand side. The top one is TV, so perhaps you want to click that?
Not necessarily, that's analogue TV; digital TV is the DTB button, a little further down. There's a PDF manual, but no integrated Help, just some mostly useless tooltips (hover the mouse cursor over the Swap button and you'll see a tooltip that says Swap!).
There are plus points, though. You can sort the channel list alphabetically, by frequency or network provider. The EPG works smoothly, even if it does only show you one channel at a time, and it's easy to schedule recordings (even if they are bizarrely hidden away in the Tool > Settings dialog). Factor in the low price and the bundled DVD authoring package in Ulead DVD MovieFactory, and this has to be worth considering.